Dyslexia, Reading Music, and Solfège
  • Are there any here who struggle with dyslexia and can give advice about reading chant? A student of mine has requested that I post a question here seeking advice from others who actually have dyslexia or who have had some training in educational strategies for dealing with the problem.

    NB: this is not a thread for soapboxes of solfège vs. numbers, etc. in the general context. This student sings in a choir that successfully uses solfège, but has personally had more success with numbers and observation of spatial distances, and so is trying to adapt to a system that works well for others as he and others continue to improve their reading and ear training.
  • Jenny,

    Dyslexia runs in our family, and a cousin of mine attended in England a special school for dyslexic children. In your position, I would make contact with one such special school (I don't know the name of the school my cousin attended).

  • Carol
    Posts: 854
    If the objective is to be able to sight sing the notes correctly and/or transcribe a series of heard notes correctly, why does it matter if the student is using numbers or solfege? If he is proficiently recognizing intervals and singing them correctly when he sings with the choir, maybe he could just sing an open syllable while the rest solfege. By osmosis, he will probably internalize the solfege syllables over time. This seems to me to be an appropriate accomodation for a person with a legitimate diagnosis of dyslexia.

    If it is required to use solfege to get a good mark in choir, as a primary grade teacher for about 30 years, then I would suggest he work to mentally pair solfege to numbers as a drill and practice, writing both method's symbols in one of those small pamphets of sight singing tunes. Begin with simpler tunes and build up the "translation" ability.

    Just a few thoughts, maybe others will have better advice.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,703
    It would be possible to use colored neumes?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,775
    legitimate diagnosis of dyslexia

    My impression is that dyslexia is still a catch-all label, for all the neuroimaging research carried out lately. I was diagnosed and held back a year in kindergarden for using R & Я interchangeably, having learned my letters from wooden blocks. I managed to catch up, once I worked out by myself that letters were intended as two-dimensional objects.

    Show of hands: how many of us still rely on context to distinguish semibreve from minim rests?
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Carol
    Posts: 854
    Sorry for my answer yesterday, I completely missed the "chant" point of the question.